Big Sur

Big Sur (macOS 11) is the 17th version of Apple's macOS (formerly Mac OS X) operating system. It followed macOS Catalina and was released on November 12, 2020.

macOS 11 Big Sur includes major user interface updates. The overall appearance of the operating system is lighter, more colorful, and more spacious. The application and Finder windows have a full-height sidebar, the Dock has a new "floating" look, and the menu bar is more translucent. Most app icons have been completely redesigned.

Big Sur is the first version of macOS to include Control Center, which consolidates common settings, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, display, and sound options into a single area. It also includes an updated version of Notification Center, which supports interactive notifications, grouping notifications, and custom widgets, such as Calendar, Weather, and Notes. Big Sur maintains most of the utilities bundled with previous versions of macOS, but removes the Network Utility app.

Apple made significant updates to several bundled applications in Big Sur, including Safari, Mail, Messages, Music, and Maps. Many updates are designed to provide a more seamless user experience between iOS and macOS. For example, Messages in Big Sur supports pinned conversations, "mentions" of individual users, inline replies, animated GIFs, and message effects.

NOTE: Unlike the previous 16 versions of OS X or macOS, which carried the "Mac OS 10" name, Big Sur is "macOS 11." In Big Sur, minor point updates now use the standard "minor point number" in the version, such as 11.1, 11.2, etc. Previous versions of macOS used the "patch number" for minor point updates, such as (OS X Mavericks 10.9.1, 10.9.2, etc.

Updated May 21, 2021 by Per C.

quizTest Your Knowledge

Which of the following is considered a brute force attack?

A
Trying multiple username/password combinations to find a valid login.
0%
B
Sending repeated pings to overload a web server.
0%
C
Installing a virus in the root user account of a computer.
0%
D
Hacking a computer through a direct USB connection.
0%
Correct! Incorrect!     View the Brute Force Attack definition.
More Quizzes →

The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

The definition of Big Sur on this page is an original definition written by the TechTerms.com team. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, please use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.